We long to belong. We crave unity. We want to be loved and accepted by others. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is about uniting all things in Christ. Here we learn how to break down what separates us from God, one ethnic group from another, husband from wife, parent from child, employer from employee. These studies provide a vision of the new society God has planned in his church.
“The apostle Paul brings the two together. First he prays that the eyes of his readers’ hearts may be enlightened to know God’s power. Then he teaches that God has already supplied historical evidence of his power by raising and exalting Jesus. It is precisely as we use our minds to ponder what God has done in Christ that the Spirit will open our eyes to grasp its implications.” (Page 17)
“Paul coins three verbs, which take up what God did in Christ and links us to Christ in these events.” (Page 20)
“We cannot shift all the blame for our slavery to sin on to ‘the world, the flesh and the devil’ and accept no responsibility for it. On the contrary, it is significant that in these verses ‘you’ and ‘we’ are not identified with these forces but distinguished from them, although enslaved by them.” (Page 20)
“Now we will consider the intercession that Paul makes for the Ephesians. It is vital that we not only maintain a high level of prayer in order to enjoy a healthy Christian life, but that we also preserve a balance of praise and prayer—as Paul models.” (Page 14)
“Paul first plumbs the depths of pessimism about humankind and then rises to the heights of optimism about God. Paul paints a vivid contrast between what humankind is by nature and what it can become by grace.” (Page 18)